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Merriam-Webster’s 2023 word of the year is “authentic.”

With the upcoming 2024 presidential election, the release of quite a few hallucination-prone bots, and lots of talk about deepfakes, this choice feels spot on. Our prediction here at The Verge copy desk was for something similar: “Barbie,” whose titular film offered its own variation on the theme of what it means to be real.

Word of the Year 2023